Following a recent survey carried out by YouGov of over 2000 adults, it has been interesting to learn of attitudes towards wills, financial planning and probate in the UK.
One clear trend emerged – British adults simply aren’t talking about financial matters with their loved ones while they can. Regardless of the problems this can cause the probate sector – through uncertainty, or lack of communication or information – in truth it is part of a story of financial consciousness across the UK that needs to improve.
Less than a quarter of survey participants knew every bank their parents or guardians held accounts with and almost a fifth had no knowledge whatsoever of where their parents banked. Even for those who did know which institution held accounts for their parents, almost half didn’t know or wouldn’t be able to find the necessary passwords to provide access to an executor.
When reviewing wider finances, the picture becomes even more unclear. Only around a tenth of participants knew all the details of their parents’ wider finances – from loans, to shares, tangible assets or property and mortgages – and almost three times this number had no details whatsoever of the necessary information for probate.
So, who is most likely to know the information probate professionals might need?
It was discovered that retirees are most likely to know their parents’ banking passwords and wider finances. Given the average UK retirement age of 66, it’s sensible to assume that these respondents had particularly elderly parents who may need more support with manging household finances.
Looking at gender, the results showed that across the board, women were more likely than men to be more aware of their parents or guardians’ finances, meaning that probate professionals tasked with accounting for all a deceased assets will find more success asking daughters over sons.
In contrast, we found that adults between 35-44 years old were 10% more likely than the UK average to not know about any of their parents’ wider finances, even higher than the youngest age group of 18-24 years old.